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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Steve Lappas on How Memphis Beat USC


By Steve Lappas
Steve Lappas is a game and studio analyst for CSTV men's basketball coverage
Special to CSTV.com

How was Memphis able to beat USC Tuesday night in the Jimmy V Classic after shooting under 40 percent from the field and the free throw line?!

That all came down to the fact that USC had a great game plan. They did everything they could to take Derrick Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts out of the game, but I think people forget how good of a defensive team Memphis is. And though Memphis struggled to score offensively, they made sure that USC struggled a little bit more than they did, and that's what it all boiled down to. USC had a great plan, and what they did was exactly how you need to try and play Memphis. That's the way people are going to try and play them. But the one thing you cannot control as a coach is how they're going to guard you, and Memphis just guarded them great.

USC put itself in a position to win the game no doubt. Let's face it, Memphis didn't play up to their capabilities on offense, but they made sure that USC was going to struggle on offense also, and that's what they did. That's what makes Memphis such a good team. There they were in a slow-down game, and they guarded their heads off, and that's why they won. They might have been fortunate that night with Douglas-Roberts and Rose both struggling to shoot the ball, but they also won that night because they played defense. And as a coach you can't control how they're going to defend you, and that's what makes things difficult.

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